Eli Lilly and Company Will Introduce Generic Insulin at Half Price of Humalog

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By : Suvarna Sheth

Eli Lilly and Company today announced it will introduce a lower-priced version of Humalog®(insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL) in the U.S.

The move, which is much needed in light of recent scrutiny over inflated insulin costs, will provide people with diabetes an insulin option that will have a list price 50 percent lower than the current Humalog list price, according to the company.

“We’ve engaged in discussions about the price of insulin with many different stakeholders in America’s health care system: people living with diabetes, caregivers, advocacy groups, health care professionals, payers, wholesalers, lawmakers, and leading health care scholars,” said David A. Ricks, Lilly’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Solutions that lower the cost of insulin at the pharmacy have been introduced in recent months, but more people need help.

Ricks says Lilly is eager to bring forward low-priced rapid-acting insulin. And he acknowledges the significant rebates pharma pays on insulins do not directly benefit all patients.

“This needs to change,” Ricks said in a statement. “There are numerous ideas, including the rebate reform proposal from HHS. For people with diabetes, lower-priced insulin can serve as a bridge that addresses gaps in the system until a more sustainable model is achieved.”

The lower-priced version will be called Insulin Lispro—the same molecule as Humalog—and will be available in vial and pen options.

The list price of a single vial will be $137.35. The list price of a five-pack of KwikPens will be $265.20.

Vials and pens of the lower-priced insulin have been manufactured, and Lilly will now work with supply chain partners to make them available in pharmacies as quickly as possible.

The drug will be made available as an authorized generic through a Lilly subsidiary, ImClone Systems.

Humalog will also remain available for people who want to continue accessing it through their current insurance plans.

Introducing an alternative insulin option allows Lilly to provide lower-priced insulin more quickly while providing payers time to renegotiate downstream contracts and adjust to new system economics.

“While this change is a step in the right direction, all of us in the health care community must do more to fix the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for Americans living with chronic conditions,” Ricks said. “We hope our announcement is a catalyst for positive change across the U.S. health care system.”

T1 International, a global patient advocate for Type 1 diabetes said in a response statement: “While $137.35 is an improvement, it’s still an unaffordable price for so many, considering most people need at least 2 vials each month.”

The organization says it, along with those in the #insulin4all movement will remain vigilant.

“This is certainly only the beginning, and a small step towards the change needed in pricing for people with Type 1 diabetes. This does not get Eli Lilly off the hook for their price-gouging and it shows us that they have the power to set a price that is truly affordable at any time,” the organization stated.

Patients can call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at (833) 808-1234 to learn more about Lilly’s Insulin Lispro.


  1. Lilly to Introduce Lower-Priced Insulin. (2019, March 4). PRNewswire. Retrieved: https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lilly-to-introduce-lower-priced-insulin-300805560.html